In Absentia

I feel like I’ve lost a friend this week. I didn’t, really, but he’s hung up his blog, and I’ll miss his presence regardless.

The fascinating thing about Borepatch is how our lifelines intersect. I never met the guy in person, yet I could detect a thread of commonality with him through his writing. Professionally, we both operate in similar disciplines – those being in the information security technology space. We both have a connection to the shooting sports (although I never wrote of it). Although our views on politics are not identical, our summary concerns regarding who we are and where we may be headed are very much in sync.

Finally, whether he knows it or not, he is about 40% responsible for my decision to once again own a motorcycle. I never believed this could come to pass, but then came comments from a close pilot friend who went riding, setbacks with a personal project, a few bad weeks at work, and then Borepatch posted this. A few weeks later, a used Harley graced my garage, where it remains today.

Sometimes we think we don’t have any impact on the world around us. But we do, if we take the time to look for those impacts.

I “hung up” this blog in mid 2012. When I started it, it was all about airplanes. Airplanes just make my life go around…I don’t make my living with them, but they’ve always been central to my consciousness and identity. They are what I chose to write about, and I limited it to that.

Why did I stop?

In early 2012, I went through arguably the worst crisis of my 30+ year career. Where I fit in my employer’s organization has always been contentious. The guy I worked for (now retired) had a strong vision of what he wanted his team to be, and my discipline was a key part of that vision. His management saw differently, and it came to a head in the spring of that year. At the end, I had all but thrown in the towel, not just on the job, but on the profession. He just managed to talk me into staying, but damage was done, trust was lost, and scars are still there. I did the right thing by them and my family by staying. But I no longer feel like I belong there, or that I was true to myself. Three years later, I still struggle with it.

That summer, I also managed to injure myself in a rushed bout of stupidity. It wasn’t life threatening (a fractured right heel), but it required surgical repair, the outcome of which was never guaranteed. It wasn’t until early 2013 that I was walking almost normally again; and could have some assurance that I’d have my full life back. Today, it’s doing fine, but I managed to get exceedingly lucky (having a great doctor made it possible too). I’ll never forget the uncertainty, it molded who I’ve become.

Those two events both pretty much kicked the crap out of my muse. I thought I’d get back to writing again, but never did.

Moreover, I am not the same person I was in 2012. Not even close. Our world has changed immensely since then, and I have a much harder edge than I did before. That chlidlike sense of optimism is gone, not to return. I can be optimistic, but I will never be optimistic in the same innocent way.

That said, sometimes the urge to write does take possession of me. It will not be the same as before, but sometimes, things need still need to be said. The thing I’ve discovered about the blogosphere is that there are others out there who we have commonality with. Sometimes, witnessing that commonality is a real comfort in a world rapidly running off the rails. Sometimes other writers validate your thinking, sometimes they challenge it. But the fact that those writers are there, and that they bring so much more depth than shallow left versus right arguments, is a true comfort.

So, I may pick things back up here. I’m thinking about it. If I do, thought, it won’t be the same. It can’t be.

But sometimes, a familiar voice in the wilderness is just what we needed. Let the falling tree make a sound…


2 Responses to “In Absentia”

  1. 1 Borepatch June 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Wow. Thanks for this post. You’re right that we don’t see who’s lives we touch – thank you for showing me.

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